Rickey, Branch

Rickey, Branch

▪ American baseball executive
in full  Wesley Branch Rickey 
born December 20, 1881, Stockdale, Ohio, U.S.
died December 9, 1965, Columbia, Missouri
 American professional baseball executive who devised the farm system of training ballplayers (1919) and hired the first black players in organized baseball in the 20th century.

      Rickey started his professional playing career while studying at Ohio Wesleyan University, spent two seasons (1906–07) in the American League as a catcher, and graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1911. After serving as field manager of the American League St. Louis Browns (1913–15), he began a long association with the National League St. Louis Cardinals—as club president (1917–19), field manager (1919–25), and general manager (1925–42).

      Dismayed at the inability of the Cardinals to bid successfully for promising minor league players, he persuaded club owner Sam Breadon to buy stock in the Houston (Texas) and Fort Smith (Arkansas) minor league teams so that St. Louis would have first choice of their players. The Cardinals won nine league championships with players signed during Rickey's tenure. He left the Cardinals to become president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers of the National League (1943–50).

      In the spring of 1945, Rickey founded the United States League for black players, whom unwritten law excluded from organized baseball, and he was criticized for encouraging continued segregation in sports. There are no records indicating that the league ever played any games; however, it served as a front that allowed Rickey to quietly scout black ballplayers for one who could lead the desegregation of the major leagues. In October 1945 he signed infielder Jackie Robinson (Robinson, Jackie) for the Dodgers' minor league organization. Robinson's success with the Dodgers from 1947 led other owners to seek black talent. Rickey later was vice president, general manager (1950–55), and chairman of the board (1955–59) of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

      Rickey was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, in 1967.

Additional Reading
For a historical treatment of Rickey and his signing of Robinson, see Jules Tygiel, Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy (1983, revised ed. 1993, expanded ed. 1997).

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Rickey, Branch (Wesley) — born Dec. 20, 1881, Stockdale, Ohio, U.S. died Dec. 9, 1965, Columbia, Mo. U.S. baseball executive. Rickey began playing professional baseball while a student at Ohio Wesleyan University. In 1917 he began a long association with the St. Louis… …   Universalium

  • Rickey, Branch (Wesley) — (20 dic. 1881, Stockdale, Ohio, EE.UU.–9 dic. 1965, Columbia, Mo.). Dirigente de béisbol estadounidense. Comenzó a jugar béisbol como profesional mientras estudiaba en la Wesleyan University de Ohio. En 1917 inició una larga asociación con los St …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Rickey — /rik ee/, n. (Wesley) Branch, 1881 1965, U.S. baseball executive. * * * (as used in expressions) Henderson Rickey Rickey Henley Henderson Rickey Branch Wesley * * * …   Universalium

  • rickey — /rik ee/, n., pl. rickeys. a drink made with lime juice, carbonated water, and gin or other liquor. [1890 95, Amer.; named after a Colonel Rickey] * * * (as used in expressions) Henderson Rickey Rickey Henley Henderson Rickey Branch Wesley * * * …   Universalium

  • Rickey — (as used in expressions) Henderson, Rickey Rickey Henley Henderson Rickey, Branch (Wesley) …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • branch — branchless, adj. branchlike, adj. /branch, brahnch/, n. 1. a division or subdivision of the stem or axis of a tree, shrub, or other plant. 2. a limb, offshoot, or ramification of any main stem: the branches of a deer s antlers. 3. any member or… …   Universalium

  • Branch Barrett Rickey — Branch Barrett Rickey, grandson of Branch Rickey, serves as the president of the Pacific Coast League. He replaced the retiring Bill Cutler who served as PCL president from 1979 to 1997. Rickey had been the president of the venerable American… …   Wikipedia

  • Rickey — is a surname or first name, and may refer to:* Branch Rickey (1881 1965), a Major League Baseball executive * Branch Rickey Jr. (1913 1961), a Major League Baseball executive * Branch Rickey III, president of the Pacific Coast League * George… …   Wikipedia

  • Rickey — bezeichnet als Oberbegriff und Namensbestandteil einige Longdrinks, die Limettensaft enthalten Branch Rickey (1881–1965), US amerikanischer Baseballspieler, manager und funktionär George Rickey (1907–2002), US amerikanischer Bildhauer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Branch Rickey — Infobox MLB retired name=Branch Rickey position=Catcher/Manager/Executive bgcolor1=#BC003A bgcolor2=#BC003A textcolor1=white textcolor2=white bats=Left throws=Right birthdate=December 20, 1881 deathdate=death date and age|1965|12|9|1881|12|20… …   Wikipedia

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